Smithsonian National Zoological Park l Friends of the National Zoo



Biographies of National Zoo Advisory Board Members

James Dinegar, Chair, is president and chief executive officer of the Greater Washington Board of Trade, overseeing an organization that represents major business interests throughout Northern Virginia, the District of Columbia, and the Maryland suburbs. Before coming to the Board of Trade, Mr. Dinegar served as chief operating officer of the American Institute for Architects (AIA) where he was responsible for the overall operation of a 77,000-member organization and directed strategic efforts in the areas of education, technology, international collaboration, organizational alliances, and government advocacy.

Susan A. Mars, Vice-Chair, is a nurse by training, but her passion revolves around providing opportunity for disadvantaged children to lead both a productive life and to learn to appreciate and respect their local environment. She lived in Singapore and in Belgium before moving to the Washington area, and while residing in Singapore, she was an active board member of Caring for Cambodia, a nonprofit organization focused on improving the lives of children through education and outreach. Ms. Mars served on the board of Insulated Shipping Containers, Inc. from 1990 to 2001 and currently serves on the board of Demios, a private venture capital firm based in Southern California, whose primary mission is to identify and support early start-up businesses in the areas of health and environmental sciences.

Wendy Block is active in the Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles philanthropic communities and has served on the boards of International Medical Corps, Everychild Foundation, and the Block Family Foundation.

Hal Brierley serves as Executive Chairman and Chief Loyalty Architect of Brierley+Partners, Inc., one of the world’s leading specialists in the design and implementation of customer loyalty programs, having founded the company in 1985. B+P’s clients include Allstate, American Eagle Outfitters, Express, Fandango, GameStop, Hard Rock Café, Hertz, Hilton, Levi’s and 7 Eleven.

Hal has provided loyalty program design counsel to some 200 major global brands over the past twenty five years, including the design for American Express, Continental Airlines’ OnePass, Hertz #1 Gold and Hilton HHonors, as well as a decade of support for United’s Mileage Plus.

Hal founded and served as CEO of e-Rewards, Inc., the world’s largest online market research panel, with some six million panelists in 36 countries, with annual sales of over $300 million.

He began his entrepreneurial career in 1969 as co-founder of Epsilon Data Management, one of the pioneers in database marketing, serving as its President and CEO for eleven years. Epsilon’s early clients included some 400 not-for-profit organizations, including the San Diego Zoo and the National Zoo.

In 1980, Hal served as the only consultant for the launch of American Airlines’ AAdvantage program, the nation’s first frequent traveler program. In 1982, Hal was elected Vice President of Sales and Advertising for Pan American World Airways, where he launched Worldpass, the first global frequent traveler program. In 1983, he was named Senior Vice President of Marketing for Continental Airlines.

He graduated with highest honors in Chemical Engineering from the University of Maryland in 1965 and as a Baker Scholar with High Honors from Harvard Business School in 1968.

Bruce Campbell leads global business development, strategic planning, and mergers and acquisitions for Discovery Communications. He also oversees all legal affairs and litigation for the company, serving as the chief legal advisor to the company's management team and board of directors. He is also the Corporate Secretary. Mr. Campbell has led the origination and execution of some of the company's most significant transactions, including network joint ventures with Oprah Winfrey, Hasbro, and Sony/IMAX. In addition, he directed Discovery's acquisitions of HowStuffWorks.com, the award-winning knowledge-based website; TreeHugger.com, the leading eco-lifestyle destination on the web; and Cox Communications, Inc.'s 25-percent minority stake in Discovery. Prior to assuming the General Counsel role as part of his responsibilities, Mr. Campbell also served as President of Discovery's Digital Media businesses, including all of the company's U.S.-based websites, mobile platforms, online syndication, and commerce efforts. Under his leadership, Discovery's digital properties achieved record-high levels of traffic, video views and revenue.

Before joining Discovery in 2007, Mr. Campbell was Executive Vice President, Business Development, for NBC Universal, where he was responsible for strategic planning, M&A, and portfolio investments. He also represented NBCU on a number of corporate boards, including A&E TV Networks, National Geographic Channel International, MSNBC.com and the Universal Orlando Theme Parks.

Campbell began his career as a lawyer with the Los Angeles firm of O'Melveny & Myers LLP, where he specialized in corporate and securities law. He holds degrees from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs and Harvard Law School.

Jeffrey D. DeBoer is the founding President and Chief Executive Officer of The Real Estate Roundtable. The Real Estate Roundtable represents the leadership of the nation’s top 100 privately owned and publicly held real estate ownership development, lending and management firms as well as the elected leaders of the 16 major national real estate industry trade associations. Collectively, Roundtable members’ portfolios contain over 5 billion square feet of office, retail and industrial properties valued at more than $1 trillion; over 1.5 million apartment units; and in excess of 1.3 million hotel rooms. DeBoer has served as President and CEO of The Real Estate Roundtable since 1997, and through a variety of positions has been at the forefront of every major piece of legislation affecting the real estate industry during the last 25 years.

In addition to his position at the Roundtable, Mr. DeBoer serves as chairman of the Real Estate Industry Information Sharing and Analysis Center (RE-ISAC), an organization dedicated to enhancing the two-way communication between the industry and federal policymakers on matters relating to building security, terrorist threats, and incident reporting. He also serves as co-chairman of the Advisory Board of the RAND Corporation’s Center for Terrorism Risk Management Policy and is chairman of the National Real Estate Organizations, a coalition of real estate trade associations working together to enhance the coordination of the industry’s overall Washington advocacy efforts. He is also a founding member of the steering committee of the Coalition to Insure Against Terrorism (CIAT). DeBoer has discussed real estate and economic policy issues on FOX News, Bloomberg Television and CNBC, and his editorials have been published in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. He is a member of the Virginia Bar Association nd the American Bar Association.

A native of Rapid City, South Dakota, Mr. DeBoer earned a law degree from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia and an undergraduate degree from Yankton College in Yankton, South Dakota. Mr. DeBoer and his wife, Joan, and son, Mitchell, live in Alexandria, Virginia.

Joan Donner (Honorary Member) of Colorado Springs, Colorado, is President of Twende, LTD, a Colorado- and Nairobi-based company that leads and coordinates safaris in Africa. She has been active on a number of boards and committees in the Washington area, including the Smithsonian National Board, National Museum of the American Indian, and the James Smithson Society.

Charles Francis, is a public affairs consultant with an interest in environmental and natural history issues and stewardship. Francis is Senior Counselor and founder of the DCI Group, a public affairs consulting firm in Washington, D.C. representing such clients as AT&T and ExxonMobil Corporation worldwide. Francis began his career in public affairs and corporate communications thirty years ago at the Chase Manhattan Bank in New York. At Chase, Francis served as a speechwriter and media relations officer for the Bank and its then chairman David Rockefeller.

Francis is a member of the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming. Francis serves on the Advisory Board of the Draper Museum of Natural History at the Buffalo Bill. A part-time resident of Homer, Alaska, Francis was appointed in 2010 by the State of Alaska Department of Fish and Game to the Community Council of the Kachemak Bay Research Reserve (KBRR). The KBRR is the most remote and largest estuarine region in the United States with some 370,000 acres of bay and watershed under protection.

In Washington, D.C., Francis founded The Kameny Papers Project in 2005, which purchased, conserved and donated the archive and artifacts of gay civil rights pioneer Dr. Franklin E. Kameny to The Library of Congress and The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History. Francis worked closely with NMAH Director/curator Harry Rubenstein to donate twelve historic picket signs to the Smithsonian. Francis was appointed by President George W. Bush to the Presidential Advisory Commission on HIV/AIDS. Francis founded and chaired the Republican Unity Coalition, Honorary chairman Senator (ret.) Alan K. Simpson, with both David Rockefeller and President Gerald R. Ford serving on the RUC Advisory Board.

Born in Dallas, Francis is a member of the Board of Trustees of the W.H. Francis Foundation in Dallas. His grandfather W.H. Francis was the General Counsel of the Magnolia Oil Company in Dallas in 1925. Francis’ great uncle Charles I. Francis (Houston) served as Counsel to then Congressman Lyndon B. Johnson and founded the University of Texas Law School Foundation. His uncle W.H. Francis, Jr. was a founder of the Texas state Republican Party. Francis, an Eagle Scout, resides in Washington, D.C. and Homer, Alaska with his partner Stephen Bottum. Francis and Bottum also have a home in Little Washington, VA.

Jennie Turner Garlington is the daughter of Ted Turner and a trustee of the Turner Foundation. Founded in 1990, the Turner Foundation is a private, independent family foundation committed to preventing damage to the natural systems—water, air, and land—on which all life depends. The Foundation makes grants in the areas of the environment and population and focuses on four main components: Safeguarding Habitat; Growing the Movement (engage, organize, and empower new constituencies in order to ensure the future protection of our environment); Creating Solutions for Sustainable Living; and Communities.

Dr. Thomas E. Lovejoy is a university professor of environmental science and policy at George Mason University, a senior fellow at the United Nations Foundation, and the former Biodiversity Chair of the H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment. Dr. Lovejoy introduced the term biological diversity to the scientific community in 1980. From 2009 to 2013, Tom served as Chair of the Scientific Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) for the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the multibillion dollar funding mechanism for developing countries in support of their obligations under international environmental conventions and currently serves as a senior advisor. Dr. Lovejoy has been Assistant Secretary and Counselor to the Secretary at the Smithsonian Institution, Science Advisor to the Secretary of the Interior, and Executive Vice President of the World Wildlife Fund–U.S. He conceived the idea for the Minimum Critical Size of Ecosystems project a joint project between the Smithsonian and Brazil's INPA), originated the concept of debt-for-nature swaps, and is the founder of the public television series Nature. In 2001 he was awarded the prestigious Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement and in 2012 received the Blue Planet Prize, which recognizes outstanding efforts in scientific research or applications of science that contribute to solving global environmental problems. Dr. Lovejoy served on science and environmental councils or committees under the Reagan, Bush, and Clinton administrations. He received his B. S. and Ph.D. (biology) degrees from Yale University.

Angela “Angie” Marriott is a member of the Marriott family, long-time supporters of Smithsonian’s National Zoo. With the Marriott family’s dedication and support, the Zoo has achieved much-needed momentum for its continuing efforts to raise awareness and funding for its work and to maintain its global leadership among zoos. The Marriotts' have also introduced the Zoo’s work and important initiatives to other animal lovers, conservationists, and local philanthropic leaders. The Marriott family played a leading role in securing the funding necessary to bring the giant pandas back to the Zoo in 2000 with a gift of $1.6 million, as well as a generous $3 million gift to the Elephant Trails exhibit in 2007 allowing critically endangered Asian elephants to flourish in a state-of-the-art habitat.

Angie currently serves as a board member of the Make-a-Wish Foundation, Mid-Atlantic chapter and is a former board member of Best Friends Foundation, and Washington Performing Arts Society.

John W. Marriott III (Honorary Member) is chief executive officer of Thomas Point Ventures and JWM Family Enterprises. He developed and owns 11 hotels managed by Marriott International and is vice chairman of the board of Marriott International. Over the past 30 years, Mr. Marriott has served in a number of positions within Marriott International. Most recently, he served as president of North American lodging, and executive vice president of sales and marketing, brand management, and operations planning and support. His other positions have included senior vice president for Marriott’s mid-Atlantic region, vice president of development, director of finance, general manager, director of food and beverage, restaurant manager, and cook.

In April 2002, Mr. Marriott, who speaks Japanese, was named by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Japanese government to co-chair a special taskforce to promote travel between the United States and Japan. He was also named one of the most influential executives by Business Travel News in January 2004.

Terry D. McCallister is Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of WGL Holdings, Inc., parent company of Washington Gas. He also serves as Chairman and CEO of Washington Gas, the natural gas utility serving over 1,000,000 customers in the Washington metropolitan area and surrounding region.

Prior to his election as Chairman and CEO on October 1, 2009, Mr. McCallister served as President and Chief Operating Officer of WGL Holdings and Washington Gas. He joined Washington Gas in 2000 as Vice President of Gas Transportation.

Mr. McCallister is active in the natural gas industry and the community. He serves on the Board of Directors of the American Gas Association. Additionally, he is currently serving as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Southern Gas Association and is on the Board of the Gas Technology Institute, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, the Greater Washington Board of Trade, the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, Northern Virginia Family Services, the National Symphony Orchestra, and the INOVA Health System Foundation.

Mr. McCallister is a graduate of University of Missouri-Rolla where he received a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Management. He is also a graduate of the Darden Business School Executive Program. He and his wife live in Alexandria, Virginia.

Adrienne B. Mars (Honorary Member) of Jackson, Wyoming, has been involved with various environmental organizations, including the Smithsonian Institution.

Since 1974, Ms. Mars has served on the Board of Trustees of her alma mater. She has been a part of the Board of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, and the Smithsonian’s National Board.

For nearly two decades, Ms. Mars has been active with the World Wildlife Fund, sitting on the Board and the National Council. She is also involved with the Washington Opera’s Board. Born in Quincy, Florida, Ms. Mars earned her bachelor’s degree in economics and history from Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts.

Ziad S. Ojakli is a Ford Motor Company group vice president of Government and Community Relations. Ojakli leads a team that helps shape policy and legislation that promote the company's core business objectives including areas of energy and the environment, tax, international trade, and improvements in the nation's health care and pension systems.

Ojakli also oversees the company's philanthropic arm, the Ford Motor Company Fund, which contributes to worthy causes to support a broad range of initiatives to improve the quality of life within our communities. He is also chairman of Ford's Political Action Committee and oversees the grassroots communications effort of Ford employees.

From 2001 to 2004, Ojakli served President George W. Bush as a Deputy Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs, the President’s chief liaison to the U.S. Senate. Prior to joining the White House staff, Ojakli served as the Senate liaison for the Bush-Cheney Transition Team. From 1998 to 2000, Ojakli was policy director and chief of staff to the Senate Republican conference secretary, the late Senator Paul Coverdell (R-GA). From 1995 to 1998, Ojakli served as chief of staff to Representative Mark Souder (R-IN) and was Souder’s key political and policy advisor. Prior to that, he was a legislative assistant to Senator Dan Coats (R-IN), specializing in budget, tax, trade, energy and environmental issues.

Ojakli is an active board member of numerous organizations, including: the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers; the Arab American Museum Advisory Board; Arab American Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS); Canadian American Business Council; Centro Fox; The Henry Ford Learning Institute; The Institute on Business and Government Affairs (IBGA); The Jackie Robinson Foundation, Michigan Manufacturers Association; National Association of Manufacturers; and the Washington Center for Internships.

Along with his corporate work, Ojakli was named a delegate to the World Economic Forum's Young Global Leaders, joining 410 leaders from all regions of the world. A graduate of Georgetown University with a bachelor’s degree in American Government, Ojakli joined the company in January, 2004.

Patricia N. Olson, DVM, PhD, DACT was President and CEO of Morris Animal Foundation from 2005 to 2010 and was Executive Director from 2004 to 2005. Previously, she worked for Guide Dogs for the Blind, Inc., as Director, Training Operations, and then as Director, Canine Health and Training Operations. Her career has also included positions as Veterinary Advisor for the International Air Transport Association, Associate Director of the Center to Study Human and Animal Relationships and Environments (CenSHARE) at the University of Minnesota, and Congressional Science Fellow (American Veterinary Medical Association and American Association for the Advancement of Science) for the U.S. Senate. In addition, she worked for American Humane Association from 1995 to 1998 as Director, Veterinary Affairs and Studies. Her academic degrees include doctor of veterinary medicine and master of science from the University of Minnesota and a doctorate in reproductive physiology and endocrinology from Colorado State University.

Terry Prather is the president of SeaWorld Orlando. Before his position at SeaWorld, Prather was vice president of Water Country USA in Williamsburg, Virginia, and oversaw the entire Water Country USA operation, from merchandise and culinary operations to water quality, and ride management. Prather focused on developing Water Country USA into a nationally recognized brand, enhancing customer service and offering a memorable experience for guests. Prior to Water Country USA, he served as General Manager and Vice President of a theme park in New Orleans and President of another park in Maryland. Mr. Prather began his career with Busch Entertainment in 1986, managing park operations at Water Country USA's sister park, SeaWorld in San Antonio. His background includes more than 20 years of adventure park experience. He was managing director of the Witte Museum in San Antonio for two years. And, he attended Morehouse College in Atlanta.

John Ring, (Ex-Officio), President of the FONZ Board, is a partner in the Labor and Employment Practice of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. His practice focuses on advising clients in connection with strategic business planning, with a particular emphasis on the negotiation and administration of labor contracts, multi-employer benefit funds, and corporate restructurings. He represents management interests in collective bargaining, employee benefits, litigation, counseling, and litigation avoidance strategies.

Mr. Ring has extensive experience in the negotiation and administration of collective bargaining agreements, most notably the multi-employer agreement in the trucking industry. He has served as a member of the national negotiating team for the National Master Freight Agreement, and he has been involved in other negotiations in a variety of industries. He has represented clients in numerous proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board.

In addition, Mr. Ring serves as counsel to several multi-employer benefit funds, and has extensive experience with pension and health and welfare fund administration in the trucking industry. Mr. Ring also has experience in labor and employment litigation, in both federal and state courts and in arbitrations under collective bargaining agreements and private alternative dispute resolution.

Active in community affairs, Mr. Ring serves as pro-bono counsel to the Washington Jesuit Academy, and has been active in supporting the establishment of this tuition-free Jesuit elementary school for low-income boys. He serves on several committees at Holy Trinity Parish in Georgetown. Mr. Ring earned his B.A. and J.D. degrees at Catholic University of America. He and his wife, Betsy, live in Bethesda, Maryland, with their three children.

Emanuel (“Manny”) Rouvelas engages in a wide-ranging federal counseling and lobbying practice. He advises and represents leading companies and trade associations in the transportation, telecommunications, high technology, hospitality, and manufacturing industries regarding their Washington, D.C. activities and strategies. He has also served as lead government affairs counsel for major companies in transnational acquisitions, mergers, and corporate reorganizations.

He is a recognized authority in ocean shipping law and for three decades has traveled globally to advise the CEOs of many of the world’s leading shipping companies. Over the years, his practice has taken him to more than thirty countries, and he often works with the executive branch, Congress, and foreign embassies and governments on international trade and transport matters. He founded the Washington, D.C. office of Preston Gates and guided its growth to more than 140 partners and employees at the time it was merged into K&L Gates on January 1, 2007. He is consistently ranked as one of the country’s top lawyers in both maritime law and in government affairs. In 2008, he was recognized by the Legal Times as a “legal visionary” and one of the “greatest Washington Lawyers of the past 30 years” who helped turn Washington, D.C.’s legal and lobbying community into an international powerhouse. Six times, from 2005-2011 he was named one of the 50 “Top Lobbyists” (out of 12,000) by The Hill newspaper based on surveys of members of Congress and staff.

Manny has served as an advisor to two U.S. presidential transitions, a bipartisan Congressional Caucus, an executive branch reorganization, several senators and congressmen, and many political campaigns. Prior to joining K&L Gates, he was counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce and chief counsel to its Merchant Marine and Foreign Commerce Subcommittees where he had lead staff responsibility for the enactment of 32 public laws. Included was major legislation relating to vessel construction and operation, oil spill prevention, vessel traffic systems, recreational boat safety, Coast Guard and Maritime Administration programs.

Manny has long been committed to the importance of strong ethical governance in both the public and private sectors and has taught, lectured and counseled clients on governance issues. He completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School in 1996 and the Program on Corporate Governance for Directors at Stanford Business School in 2006. He has twenty years experience serving on the boards of directors of three U.S. public companies and an additional twenty years of service on the boards of directors of nonprofit charitable organizations. He is a Regent of the American Architectural Foundation; a Director of the Greater Washington Board of Trade, the largest regional network of business and nonprofit leaders; and a lifetime Trustee and former Vice-Chairman of the American College of Greece in Athens.

David M. Velazquez is presently Executive Vice President of Pepco Holdings, Inc. (PHI), and leader of its Power Delivery business. PHI is a regional energy holding company that provides utility service to more than 1.9 million customers and the parent company of Potomac Electric Power Company, an electric utility serving Washington, D.C., and suburban Maryland; Delmarva Power, an electric and gas utility serving Delaware and the rest of the Delmarva Peninsula; and Atlantic City Electric, an electric utility serving southern New Jersey.

He joined Delmarva Power, another PHI subsidiary, in 1981 and advanced through a number of management positions in engineering, operations, and planning. Mr. Velazquez most recently served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Conectiv Energy, PHI’s competitive merchant energy subsidiary. He previously served as Vice President of Strategic Planning & Chief Risk Officer of PHI and Vice President, Business Planning for Conectiv Energy. Mr. Velazquez earned his Bachelor of Science in Engineering at Widener University. Mr. Velazquez serves on the Boards of the Southeastern Electric Exchange, and the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education.

Beatrice Busch von Gontard is director-at-large for National Wildlife Federation. She exemplifies NWF's goal of connecting people with nature, both at home and in her Virginia community, where she's helping to establish a cross-curriculum program of outdoor education at a local elementary school. Students learn history from colonial farming, mathematical patterns from gardens and genetics from hybrid tulips. The school is also an NWF-certified schoolyard habitat.

Busch von Gontard says she "grew up in a zoo." Her family, the Buschs of Anheuser-Busch, created a wildlife preserve at the ancestral home. Fifteen years ago, she and her husband, Adie, bought a farm on the Shenandoah River and went to work turning much of their 1,400 acres into a haven for local wildlife. That meant planting natives and following strict rules about where and how they farm.

The von Gontards certified the property as an NWF Backyard Wildlife Habitat™ site and have been rewarded with booming wildlife populations. NWF Chief Naturalist Craig Tufts credits their practice of not mowing nesting pasture until young birds have fledged with helping to reverse the decline of bobolinks in the region. "Their birds," says Tufts, "likely represent the largest breeding population in Virginia—a population that is growing with Beatrice's careful stewardship."